St. Xavier's College, Kolkata
Established in 1860 A. D.
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St. Xavier's College, Kolkata

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History

The English Jesuits and the roaming College of St. Francis Xavier in Calcutta :

A quarter of a century before the present St Xavier’s College began in 1860 in the discarded San Souci Theatre on Park St, by the Belgian Jesuits, an international group of Jesuits commissioned by the English Jesuit Province landed in Calcutta to look after the interests of the Catholics. The team was headed by Dr Robert St Leger.

  • 1834: Opening of the College of St Francis Xavier at Moorghyhatta by Fr Chadwick, an English Jesuit.
  • 1835: the institution is shifted to no.3 Park St.
  • 1841: It is shifted to 22 Chowringhee, where the present day Indian Museum stands, to accommodate the increasing number of students, the same year Mgr Carew lands in Calcutta to take charge of the affairs of the Catholic Church.
  • 1846: The closure of the College of St. Francis Xavier due to the feud between the Jesuits and Mgr Carew, and the Jesuits leave for their home shores.

Other names to be remembered: Joseph Mero (an Italian lay brother), Fr William Weld, Fr Moore and Fr Robert Johnson.

At the demise of Mgr Carew in 1855, Mgr Olliffe took charge as the new bishop.

An admirer of the Jesuits, and with the active support of lay people prominent among them being the Corneliuses, the O’Briens and the Cantophers, the Belgian Jesuits were appealed to come to Calcutta to look after the education of the Catholic community!

No. 10, the burnt out premises of Sans Souci theatre, was bought by Mgr Carew in 1850 to transfer St John’s college he had begun in Entally.. St John’s was transferred to No.10 but the experiment did not last.

In 1859 the Jesuits landed on the shores of the Charnock city, and made no. 10 Pk St their home, handed over to them by Mgr Olliffe.

On 16th January 1860, the college St. Francis Xavier incarnates as St Xavier’s College at 10 Park St. The leader and founder was Fr Depelchin. The college was granted affiliation by Calcutta University in 1862.

The present 30 Park St where St Xavier’s College is situated is an amalgamation of numbers 10 and 11 of Park St. No.10, where stood the remnants of Sans Souci, was bought by Mgr Carew with money received as a donation from Lackersteins, an investment company connected to East India Company. It was handed over to the Jesuits to start St Xavier’s College by the then bishop of Calcutta, Mgr Olliffe. The rich Anglo-Indians donated generously to the efforts of the Jesuits.

And with a donation from the home Province of Belgium, premises no.11 was bought for Rs 45,000.00 in 1864, by Fr Depelchen, the founder father of St. Xavier’s. For expansion work in terms of class rooms and to accommodate the Jesuits fathers, there was a paucity of funds.

The Rector’s appeal to the public of Calcutta in newspapers for generous assistance was responded with magnanimity by well wishers of the city in 1864. Besides Fr Depelchin and his assistant and Br. Koppes the builder went around personally collecting funds, literally knocking at doors like a beggar.

The old gives way to the new. The present imposing 5 storied building was built in an interval of 6 years, from 1934 to 1940 at a cost of Rs 9 lakhs, which was collected partly from the public of Calcutta, assistance from Belgium, and the huge rental received from the American army that occupied the building during the second war.

THE BUILDERS: 

The founding Jesuits: 
Br. Koppes, 
Frs Depelchin, Lafont, Penaranda

The builders of Modern SXC: 
Roelland, Lallemand, Johanns, Dandoy, Card. Piccachy, Schepers, Joris, Goreaux, Joseph D’Souza 
(gone for their reward), 
Frs Beckers and Huart (still alive).

ACADEMIC HISTORY: 1860 to 1995

  • Started as a pure arts college 1860, soon science teaching was introduced
  • affiliated to Calcutta University in 1862
  • B.Ed (BT) was introduced in the 1940s.
  • B.Com in 1946
  • In 1976 the college opens to girls in all departments except B.Com.
  • Values added: Computer Centre in 1985, EMRC in 1988, Accredited to DOEAC to conduct its courses, accredited to IGNOU.
  • 1977: HS courses offered, later phased out from 2001.
  • Founding of SXCCAA – 1985.

Nihil Ultra responding to the new challenges:

  • 1995 full activation of SXCCAA under K.K. Kanoi’s secretariatship.
  • 1996 the need was felt for responding to the challenges emerging from globalization. To make higher education for relevant and meaningful, many departments were opened up: 1996: MCV Major, Statistics Hon., and Film Studies (general).
  • 1998: Computer Science Hon
  • 2000: Auditorium renovated, new extension for Bio-Botany lab and classes, Comp Cent.
  • 2002: BBA and Sociology Hon introduced.
  • 2003: Journalism (Ge), also NAAC ACCREDITN OF THE COLLEGE (A Grade), and EDC granted by DST, a first for a UG non-technical college, MOU with Cal-Ad Club
  • 2004: Microbiology (General), MOU with Technable-Ites.
  • 2005: Microbiology Hon., Observatory renovated.
  • 2005: SXC is raised to PG teaching center, by Calcutta University granting affiliation for teaching M.Sc. Comp. Sc., extension wing for MCV.
  • 2006: March: UGC and CU grants AUTONOMY TO SXC, MOU with Bose Inst, B.Com. (Evening) introduced for Girls as well.


Jesuits 
and Education in India

The Society of Jesus, a Christian Religious Order founded by Saint Ignatius of Loyola in 1540, has been active in the field of education throughout the world since its origin. In the world the Society of Jesus is responsible for over 1865 Educational Institutions in 65 countries. These Jesuit Educational Institutions engage the efforts of approximately 98,000 teachers, who educate approximately 17,92,000 students.

The Society of Jesus, a Christian Religious Order founded by Saint Ignatius of Loyola in 1540, has been active in the field of education throughout the world since its origin. In the world the Society of Jesus is responsible for over 1865 Educational Institutions in 65 countries. These Jesuit Educational Institutions engage the efforts of approximately 98,000 teachers, who educate approximately 17,92,000 students.

In India the Society of Jesus is responsible for 110 High Schools, 23 University Colleges, 14 Technical Institutes and 5 other Institutes in English and the local languages. The students belong to every social class, community and linguistic group. These Institutions are part of the Catholic Church's effort to share in the country's educational undertaking.

The Jesuit College aims at forming young men and women of competence, commitment, compassion and of conscience.

St. Xavier's College thus aims at making its own contribution towards a transformation of the present-day social condition so that principles of social justice, equality of opportunity, genuine freedom and respect for religious and moral values, enshrined in the Constitution of India, may prevail, and the possibility of living a fully human existence may be open before all.


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